Bulgaria’s National Centre for Infectious and Parasitic Diseases (NCIPD) said on August 12 that it has completed the sequencing of 254 samples taken from Covid-19 patients in the country, which showed the BA.5 lineage of the Omicron strain and its subvariants were still the dominant one in the country.
All 254 samples, taken over a period of time ranging from July 1 to August 3 in 20 out of Bulgaria’s 28 districts, displayed evidence of the Omicron variant or one of its lineages.
The BA.5 lineage and its subvariants, which NCIPD collectively referred to as BA.5.x, is the main driver of the current coronavirus wave globally. Initially detected in South Africa in January 2022, BA.5 is categorised by the World Health Organisation as a variant of concern lineage under monitoring.
These are defined as subvariants that show signs of “transmission advantage” to other lineages and have “additional amino acid changes that are known or suspected to confer the observed change in epidemiology and fitness advantage as compared to other circulating variants.”
BA.5.x was found in 186 cases or 73.2 per cent of the total sample size, compared to 41.2 per cent of the samples in the previous batch sequenced by NCIPD.
The previously dominant BA.2 lineage and its subvariants, which NCIPD collectively referred to as BA.2.x, was found in 13 samples or 5.1 per cent of the total.
In the previous batch of samples sequenced by NCIPD, the results of which were announced on July 19, BA.2.x accounted for 41.8 per cent of the cases.
The remaining samples showed evidence of several other lineages of the Omicron strain – five cases of the BA.4.x lineage, 28 cases of BE.x and 22 cases of BF.x lineages.
As of July 25-August 10, eight patients in the NCIPD sample group had died, 31 were in hospital, 82 were undergoing home treatment and 133 had recovered.
(Top photo: Military Medical Academy)
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